FilmMakers.com / The Radmin Company 2003 Screenwriting Competition

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Joseph Cilona

Finalist

Joseph Cilona
of
Miami, FL
Screenplay
TINSEL WINGS
Drama
Biography: I am Clinical Psychologist and have worked primarily within the public health care system providing individual psychotherapy to adults with a very diverse array of presenting problems. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology, a Master's degree in Medical Science, and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. My background includes experience in forensic psychology, traumatic stress, as well as some corporate consulting. I am currently taking a sabbatical from my clinical work to travel and pursue my ambitions to write.

Interview

I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter ....

when I first began to discover the capacity for film to provoke, enlighten, and inspire.

I know I've succeeded....

when I see something I wrote on screen, and can witness firsthand how it touches and moves an audience seeing it for the first time.

My inspiration to write TINSEL WINGS.....

was twofold. I was first inspired by a poem entitled A Definition of Love by Andrew Marvel. It describes a love that is both perfect and hopeless. My clinical work and the problems I see so many people struggle with in romantic relationships were also inspirational. My intention in writing TINSEL WINGS is to provoke people to examine what we are taught by popular culture regarding "true love," the notion of "soul mates," and what the ideal romantic relationship looks like.

 

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FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Joseph Cilona:
I first began to discover the capacity for film to provoke, enlighten, and inspire.

FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?

Joseph Cilona: I bought and read anything and everything I could get my hands on about screenwriting, and scoured the internet for all the information I could find. After digesting all that material, I formulated my own system of sorts for formulating and writing a film integrating everything I learned that I found interesting, insightful, or otherwise useful. It turned out to work really well for me. I worked very hard, but enjoyed the process tremendously.

FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?

Joseph Cilona: TINSEL WINGS is my first script, and it took approximately six months for me to complete the first draft and about another three to four months to complete all the rewrites and polishes.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?

Joseph Cilona:
I wish I could! My writing either flows furiously or not at all. I can write for days at a time and then not a word for months until the floodgates open again.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring screenwriters and why?

Joseph Cilona: Yes, definitely. Any opportunity for beginning writers to get some feedback by professionals in this very competitive industry is invaluable. Also, of course, the potential always exists that you might win and open important doors to a future career.

FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the FilmMakers.com / The Radmin Company Screenwriting Competition?

Joseph Cilona: I did a lot of research on the internet regarding screenplay contests and found FilmMakers.com / The Radmin Company Screenwriting Competition to be one of the most exciting and consistently highly rated by other aspiring writers.

FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?

Joseph Cilona: I urge all aspiring screenwriters to read any script and every script they can get their hands on and make time to read. I find scripts of Oscar wining screenplays very exciting to read, and I also find agonizingly bad scripts very useful as a learning tool (in limited numbers, of course!). They all help your repertoire as a writer.

FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?

Joseph Cilona: My biggest passion outside of my professional work and writing is definitely travel and foreign language. I have been fortunate in having the opportunity to live in both Brazil and France, and cherish my experience learning the language and culture of both countries. My passion for foreign language and travel continues. Next on my list is Italy.


FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Joseph Cilona:
I have respect and admiration for any writer who wrote a screenplay that moved me in some way. Some of my favorites include The Sixth Sense, Great Expectations, and Boxing Helena.

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?

Joseph Cilona:
That one's easy. Alan Ball, the director of the HBO series Six Feet Under.  Profoundly genius!

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?

Joseph Cilona:
I love the body of work by Jeremy Irons. His ability to bring a unique depth and complexity to his roles is really extraordinary to me.

FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?

Joseph Cilona:
Read, read, read, read, and read some more! Keep an open mind, but don't be too influenced unless something really resonates within you. Stay optimistic and don't be discouraged by the things you hear about the harsh competition in this industry. If you have talent, it will eventually be recognized.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Joseph Cilona: I've already started writing my second feature and am delving into doing rewriting and polishes of features and shorts written by others. That has been really enjoyable for me and working out quite well. 

FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?

Joseph Cilona:
One thing I have learned so far in this life is that you can never answer that question! I'm eager to see what life will bring five years down the line.

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